Insurance adjusters are trained to get the most information out of people, but those with insurance claims must use caution when talking with adjusters to avoid putting their claims at risk. Insurance adjusters work for insurance companies, not victims, and they work hard to get details that could invalidate a claim. For that reason, victims should arm themselves with the right knowledge to help them cautiously discuss the accident with the adjuster when the time comes.
Admitting Fault in an Accident
The worst thing a person can do when in the midst of an accident claim is to admit fault. Yet even people who know not to say the accident was their fault can inadvertently admit fault by using apologetic language in their conversation. The adjuster is looking for a way to get the insurance company out of paying the claim, so any admission of fault can give him or her that leverage. This gets tricky when the individual thinks he or she was at fault. Regardless, admitting fault is best avoided.
Information About Injuries
Adjusters often ask for information about the injuries sustained in the accident. Those being interviewed do not have to answer these questions, and answering them could put the claim at risk.
Instead, accident victims can direct the adjuster and the insurance company to their attorneys for that information. It is within the victim’s rights to refuse to discuss these injures over the phone. Going into too many details, especially with a skilled adjuster directing the conversation, can make the victim’s injuries seem less severe than they really are.
Recording a Statement
When on the phone with a victim, an adjuster may ask to record the conversation. They can ask this in such a way that the victim thinks it is required, but the victim has the right to say no. Claims adjusters are not allowed to require recorded statements, and recorded statements can hurt the victim’s ability to make a full claim. A statement recorded by the adjuster can be used against the victim, so avoiding the recordings altogether is wise.
Discussing a Settlement
A skilled insurance adjuster may offer a settlement in the first conversation. The settlement often looks like a large and generous amount, but victims need to remember that adjusters work on behalf of the insurance company, not the victim. If they are offering a large settlement, chances are high that the insurance company feels the case could be worth more if it goes further down the claims process. Before taking a settlement, victims can benefit from getting an opinion from other parties outside of the insurance company, such as an attorney who understands accident claims.
If the insurance adjuster starts asking questions about what a victim thinks happened, the victim can start speculating about details on the accident. These speculations can hurt the claim because the adjuster can claim that the victim changed the story at some point. Instead, victims can focus on answering the adjuster’s questions with short, factual answers.